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Paige Waehner

Have you lost your workout mojo? How to get it back

By September 11, 2013

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I write a lot about exercise, particularly how to motivate yourself to do it on a regular basis. The thing is, there's no way to inject exercise motivation into your life every single day. It's just not possible, but what is possible...actually, more like probable, is that you will face plenty of times when you just don't feel like working out. It may even happen while you're exercising. You may find yourself on that same old treadmill or lifting those 15 pound weights and suddenly thinking, "I'm so done with this workout."

Having lost and found my workout mojo more times than I can count, I've come up with some ideas about what you can do when you're not motivated. You'll find these ideas covered in detail in my article, brilliantly titled, "What should I do if I'm not motivated to exercise?" and you'll find some tips below, as well:

  1. Cut it short - Overcome a bad mojo day by shifting gears. If your original goal was to run 3 miles or lift weights for an hour, decide you'll go through a long warm up. If you don't feel like continuing after that, give yourself permission to quit and try again tomorrow.
  2. Give yourself permission to have a bad workout - We sometimes feel guilty when we're having a bad mojo day. We know there's no physical reason not to give our all and forget that mental energy is just important as physical energy. If the mental energy isn't there, you may not be able to workout at your normal level. Give yourself permission to back off and do what you can.
  3. Go through the motions - There will be times when you don't feel connected to your workout and your goals feel far away. It's tempting to give up completely, but going through the motions can remind you of what you're working for. Everything in life ebbs and flows, including your workout mojo - even if you don't feel it now, you will feel it again.
  4. Take a break - Mental energy can sometimes overcome lack of physical energy and vice versa, but when both are lagging, that may be a sign you're tired and need to back off. Take a day off or do something simple - take a walk or do some light stretching until you feel fully recovered.

What do you do when you can't find your workout mojo? Do you worry that it's gone forever and try to push yourself harder to get it back? Or do you recognize that it's just one of those days? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

More Ways to Find Your Workout Mojo

October 20, 2009 at 2:31 pm
(1) Brad says:

I just try to remind myself that I really like being alive and would like to prolong that condition as long as possible. So mojo or no mojo, I need more exercise please…

October 21, 2009 at 9:17 am
(2) Gwen says:

I make myself remember that I don’t want to go back to the “old” me and remind myself of why I started working out-to be healthier into my “rockin’ years”. I feel guilty when the drive isn’t there on certain days & I’ll just stretch, do less reps, or take the day off. It always helps. Plus throughout the day I’ll keep trying to motivate myself to get right back in the swing of things the next day

October 23, 2009 at 8:36 pm
(3) Ann S says:

Motivating yourself is definitely a challenge. I am a firm believer in finding the right exercise program for you and making sure that you enjoy it can make your success rate more rapid. Being energetic and motivated to exercise is half the battle, and can definitely put you on to the road of success. Finding your “mojo” towards exercise was very interesting and provided some wonderful information.

October 27, 2009 at 10:24 pm
(4) Greg says:

Nike came out with a good phrase which I use alot:
“Just do it”.
Larry the Cable guy came up with a good phrase:
“Get R done”.
I find that when I repeat those phrases out loud
several times the motivation to get started working
out materializes. Then, when I get going I never
regret getting started and complete the workout.
Try it out, it may work for you too.

October 28, 2009 at 8:59 am
(5) madalyn says:

I switch my routine to something more exciting. I do my workout inside but on days like that, I go out. Walk instead of run…call a friend to join u for an uplift (when possible). or just have that talk with yourself…..u know the one.

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